Dunga laments short prep time
© AFP

Securing a first Olympic title will be a tougher job than winning the FIFA World Cup™, Brazil's coach Dunga said on Sunday. He insisted his young team was up to the task of winning gold at the Beijing Games. While Brazil have held the FIFA World Cup five times, they have never won at the Olympics, but Dunga said that his squad, including Ronaldinho, were coping well with the weight of expectation.

"To win (an) Olympic medal is a bit harder because we don't have much time to prepare," he told reporters in Singapore ahead of an exhibition match on Monday. "With respect to the World Cup, we have four years to prepare for it... in Olympic Games normally we have 15 days and players are coming back from holidays, from other competitions," he said.

The Brazilian team, including two-time FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, 18-year-old AC Milan sensation Alexandre Pato, and Manchester United's Anderson, have been going through drills and tactics since arriving last week.

"There is a lot of pressure to win... most of these players, although they are young, are already playing in big teams in Europe and also in Brazil, so they are coping quite well," said Dunga.

"The only medal that Brazil have never won."
Anderson, who already has Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles under his belt, is keen to add another medal to his rapidly escalating collection. "I am playing for my country and that is really important for me," he told the Straits Times newspaper. "Every player wants to win in Europe, but I can't deny how important it is to win the only medal that Brazil have never won."

Eighteen-year-old Pato, who has been hailed as Milan's bright new hope, said experienced players like 28-year-old Ronaldinho would help steady the nerves. "I am glad to be in a team that consists of more experienced players who can help and support me on the field," he told reporters. "It also calms me and helps me to try and do my best on the field."

Dunga and his team arrived in Singapore last week as part of preparations for next month's Olympics. After a game on Monday against Singapore, they will head to Hanoi for a friendly against Vietnam's national side on 1 August.

Brazil won the Olympic silver medal in the 1984 and 1988 Games, and bronze in 1996. The Olympic tournament begins on 6 August, with the final on 23 August.